About this Show

Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING
PG

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Israel 29, Eliot 7, Us 5, Obama 5, Vo 4, Washington 4, U.s. 4, Romney 3, Hamas 3, America 3, Eliot Spitzer 3, John Roberts 3, Heller 2, Roberts 2, Jeffrey Toobin 2, John Mccain 2, Joel Berg 2, Jeffrey Toubbin 2, Egypt 2, Iran 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 19, 2012
    5:00 - 6:00pm PST  

5:00pm
i liked it. such pleasure. good night. have a really good time tonight and we'll see you here tomorrow. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." the six day air war between israel and hamas terrorist and gaza continued unabated while diplomat i canic talks continue in egypt, israel's leaders are preparing to take what they call operation pillar and defense. theyprominent netanyahuprime minister netanyahu and his cabinet deciding what to do.
5:01pm
they said if israel was going to invade gaza, they would have done so already. after israel killed hamas' military commander in airstrike three israeli civilians have been killed and 70 wounded missile strikes that reached as far as tel aviv, 50 miles from gaza's northern border. but israel's iron dome defense system has knocked down hundreds of palestinian missiles, limiting casualties and damage. they have launched 1300 airstrikes against targets in gaza. 106 palestinians have been killed in the fighting. hospital officials say half of those killed were civilians. however, israeli officials say they believe the majority of those killed were militants for hamas or one of the associated palestinian terror groups. in bangkok thailand, president obama said sunday the u.s. while
5:02pm
working to de-escalate the situation and end the fighting would stand behind its ally. >> we're fully supportive of israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes, workplaces and potentially killing civilians. and we'll continue to support israeli's right to support itself. >> eliot: a poll said that 57% support israel's israel. egypt is serving as an intermediary in the ongoing talks vicinity's president told reporters if the situation was further escalateed this co-mean dire consequences, and we could not accept that, and the free world could not accept that.
5:03pm
william hague seemed to agree. a ground invasion is much more difficult for the international community to support. for more for the efforts to broker peace i'm joined by james traub and by joe cirincione president of the global security foundation and author of "bomb scare: the history and future of nuclear weapons." why now? why is this simmer conflict simmering conflict happening. >> there is an election coming up in israel. the cynical interpretation would be netanyahu has decided to have
5:04pm
this census-creating war. now is that true? i don't know. the underlying israel point of view is that it's the time to show hamas that this is unacceptable. the underlying question is given the occurrence of this event what happened four years ago looks almost identical to what is happening now. and it will happen again in four years no matter what the underlying cause. it will happen again. >> eliot: israel controlling the west bank and hamas controlling gaza. >> eliot: hamas will not agree to any peace deal unless its forced upon them between israel on the west bank. >> you heard what james just said. there have been ongoing attacks
5:05pm
for more eternity it seems. the trigger is now in dispute. but when you want to put together a cease-fire what are the pieces to that puzzle? what is hamas demanding and what is israel demanding and what could last 24 hours or also for a year or so to create a breathing room to negotiate a real settlement. >> first of all i'm on the international security advisory board, my views are my own. i don't speak for them in any way. >> eliot: absolutely. >> it's not clear of the final solution but what is clear is this is working in hamas' favor. they're being elevated in status by this attack. when you look at the ongoing negotiations in had cairo with the turks and egyptians and other regional states trying to broker a cease-fire agreement.
5:06pm
it's hamas setting up the dinner table. it's not israel authorities. whatever its defensive rationale, and i support israel's right to defend itself, it's radicalizing the posturing. you see the arab world start to unite around hamas this is not good for u.s. policy in the region. >> eliot: we have this mundane but nets question who is winning, and win something hard to define but joe you gave one interpretation, who is being elevated, who is gaining negotiating leverage in the long run. do you agree that hamas is gaining ground in this? >> yes, but they gain ground in the weirdest way. hamas does not succeed by causing more pain to israel. it's the opposite.
5:07pm
it succeed by forcing israel to behave in such a way that hundreds of civilians or dozens of civilians are killed. hamas is not inflicting damage on israel as you pointed out in your statement. the iron dome defense system has largely spared israel from harm. israel succeed by harming hamas. israel fails by harming hamas because they get credited for killing so many civilians. >> hamas almost wants--this may be why they're goading israel. >> you said, you're not serious about this. you want a piece of me, come and get me. this is a go to them because they have learned from the policy experiences of the last 20 years. every time israel launches these military strikes whether it's on lebanon or gaza, the israeli intent is to coerce the
5:08pm
opposition to collapse into compliance but the result is the opposition gets stronger. >> james, you were mentioning eight years ago we ask this, and the intent was to crush a hamas. you saw the ground invasion, an extended occupation, and they leave hamas as strong as ever. >> when this happened is four years ago you could say we were close in 2007-08 to peace negotiations. nobody thinks that now. there is no sense now that there is any momentum at all towards an underlying solution to this problem. >> eliot: we're going to get to that if we have time. the large macro-settlement has fallen off the map apparently over the past two years. james, you address the domestic is really politics. is there a domestic gaza politics?
5:09pm
is this a way that hamas wants this and they need to show that they're the more powerful, more potent within the middle east and islamic world. >> they were about to go to the united nations and make a plea, a grandstand play to have palestinian recognized as a side. the u.s. opposes it. israel opposes it. it's likely to fail. but hamas now completely overwhelms any benefit they would get from this. israel is undermining the most serious secular negotiator we've ever had on the arab side and radicalizing the west bank, radicalizing gaza, making it more likely you'll see stronger islamist tendencies within the palestinian movement. making it much more difficult to negotiate-- >> eliot: let me say this if i can. the consequences of this combat
5:10pm
is that hamas will be elevateed. west bank will be made secondary and abbass will become less important and less potent negotiator for the palestinians. >> might even collapse. you might see the palestinian authority just disappear. >> so let's talk about this. a few weeks ago abbas made an extraordinary statement that was intended as an olive branch to israel. he said when speaking to an israeli office, he said, i'm from this town in northern israel. that's where he was forced to flee in '48. he said, i want to visit my home but i know i'll never live there. that was a coded sentence. it was meant to mean that i accept that the right of return, which is a big arguing point in terms of what are called final status negotiation, it's not going to happen. we're not going to return. a few of us will return. he was assailed at home for what didn't happen is it was not
5:11pm
embraced at all in israel. the president of israel said this is extraordinary netanyahu netanyahu-- >> eliot: i for one could never understand what his game plan was. i want to switch gears and understand what role egypt is playing in this. how do you understand what mohammed morsi is doing. is he trying to thread a more sophisticated needle and maintain egypt somewhat in the role of intermediary. >> absolutely. and he's trying to show off his domestic base. they are threatening him so he doesn't want to see this radicalization. there is enormous anger in egypt what is going on in gaza, you he's trying to preserve his base, preserve his relationship with
5:12pm
egypt, assert his new role in the region. that's why he sent his prime minister to gaza. you're seeing more foreign dignitaryies visit gaza than has in the last four years. >> eliot: is there anything that he could really do? >> it's really striking that obama has taken the tone he has. before you pointed out that the british have said don't have a ground invasion. obama has not said that. the french work with qatar, which is not--obama has been completely in their corner. why. he is not running for office. he doesn't need the jewish vote. he needs to build up credibility with israel as he understands now that he didn't in the first term if he is going to work with them on iran, or, i assume he's workingthinking about reconstituting
5:13pm
the peace process. >> i think you that's absolutely right. very insightful. >> is hamas proxy for iran. >> no, it's operating on its own and its getting more support. four years ago it's support came from syria and iran. now it has turkey, qatar it's less dependent on iran than it ever has been. >> eliot: unfortunately i think we'll have this conversation over and over and over again. james traub and joe many thanks tonight. we'll go up the big top for the circus that is the modern gop with sam seder coming up on "viewpoint." to me now? you know the kind of guys that do reverse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers
5:14pm
thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
5:15pm
5:16pm
these talking points, that the right have, about the "heavy hand of government" ... i want to have that conversation. let's talk about it. really? you're going to lay people off because now the government is going to help you fund your healthcare. really? i want to have those conversations, not to be confrontational, but to understand what the other side is saying, and i'd like to arm our viewers with the ability to argue with their conservative uncle joe over the dinner table. >> eliot: another disaster for which wall street was not prepared which brings us to the
5:17pm
number of the day. unknown. that's the value of stocks and bearer bonds that the wall street banks may have lost when the vault holding the documents got flooded. they were stored at the deposit trucks and clearing corporation a company controlled by the biggest financial houses on wall street. they had just one job. just one. keep the stocks and bonds safe, secure and dry. but the underground vaults failed the test for waterproofing when the lower manhattan flooded last month. now contractors are trying to salvage the paper by freeze-drying it. how many assets are at risk? estimates go as high as $70 billion. when it comes to losing money wall street has no end of games to play. and why do i get the feeling that if somebody should have to foot the bill, is very big bill, taxpayers will be getting the call to open their wallets yet again. mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line
5:18pm
to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> eliot: post november 6th, the republican party seems desperate to find a theme, an argument, almost a reason for being. each of the potential leaders of the party has rejected mitt romney's post-election rationalizations. this was senator lindsey graham reacting to romney's comments. >> we're in a big hole. we're not getting out of it by comments like that. when you're in a hole stop digging. he keeps digging. we're in a death spiral with hispanic voters because of the rhetoric around immigration and candidate romney and the primary dug the whole deeper. >> eliot: it is fun watching him dig, i must say. now joining us now sam seder.
5:19pm
you're not crying crocodile tears just to make it clear whose side you're on. >> no, i'm not crying crocodile tears. it's funny the day after the election i was on this program and i said the same thing. they're in a death spiral in terms-- >> eliot: let me disfree with you. a death spiral sounds like there is something final and inevitable. i would remind you in '08 the euphoria of obama's original election parties rejuvenate. >> that's why you see them spending so much time on ben gas did i. there is nothing left that isn't toxic in terms of what inspires their electoral base. they can't talk about taxation. they can't talk about the 47%. they can't talk about immigration. they can't talk about abortion
5:20pm
rights and women having sovereignty over their own body, so they talk about bengahzi as if this is watergate. >> eliot: i agree with you and i'll be doing a segment on the idiocy of their rants. grover norquist is in the dog house. jan brewer on immigration they're saying no, that did not turn out so well. we're going in a different direction. but isn't stage one of their reforming themselves to actually embrace those issues that permit them to focus on those issues. let me make that concrete. they'll embrace immigration reform and say yes let's take that off the table. now let's talk taxes only. is that a strategy? >> i think it's a strategy, and i hope that we get real immigration reform. it's possible in context of the establishment in washington. you know this, too the money has always been on the side of
5:21pm
immigration reform. because corporations want these guest workers. they want to exploit the visiting workers and whatnot and if it means that they have to give up some path to citizenship they'll do it. but the problem is they've created analect an electoral base that is motivated by their issues with brown people, gay people, by their issues of cultural i i implications of women having control over their bodies? >> eliot: i agree. the issue for the republican party is that those issues that motivated them, as you said, were the social issues which lost the election for them. they are no longer the demographics of the electorate, and no longer permit them to get to 50%. either popular vote for electoral college. they peel them off one by one. as they lose them they have no
5:22pm
argument to make other than what john boehner sees left to make on taxes. that's what he wants to do. i'm not persuaded that that isn't a losing strategy or epidemic their only possible strategy. >> when the republican party comes around in four years three years we'll see them singing their old songs again but i hope you're right. i hope boehner starts to attack what you perceive as their strength. it will force the democrats to stand up for more traditional what we associate with the democratic party, which is we're going to protector things like social security, medicare and we'll go further with more progressive taxation and expand social security because frankly it makes sense to do so at this point. >> cenk: the argument that paul krugman, who i come back to frequently because he has been about the only economist who has been right at every stage from
5:23pm
pre-cataclysm through now wait a minute weynes was right. he's basically saying the social safety net is what we need to build a middle class and create the assumption and create jobs. >> we can create medicare and the government can provide less money for seniors. in the end it comes out of their kids pockets. you're basically allowing for a tremendous amount of income inequality to continue in this country, and hopefully this will push the democrats to the left. if the republicans at least nominally shed some of these more social issues. >> eliot: ii love krugman's column twinkies being the age of stronger unions and this era that we've been talking about the definition of success actually was the progressive era
5:24pm
era. >> yes, of course, i think he refers to it as the great compression. you have much less income inequality. all of our social security shortfall to the extent that they really exist is a function of income inequality because we're capturing less in the nation's income through wage tax. that's just one example. >> eliot: of course you're right. i want to switch gears. you've been passionate about the so-called grand bargain. it is contrary to the principles of the democratic party. i agree with you, and i have a different take. if there is a grand bargain of some sort and we take 4 trillion-dollar off the deficit in the next ten years then what? suddenly we're going to get through this. what then becomes the argument? how does this administration say we have the larger crisis which is stagnant median income. >> are you saying that we would
5:25pm
cut the deficit by 4 trillion-dollar. >> eliot: this is what they would say. >> it's going to sink our economy. >> over a ten-year period. i don't think if they do that over a ten year period they'll push it out. what do you do about median family income. which is in the long term is the corrosive piece of social degradation. >> you need to build a stronger infrastructure of programs like social security. if you lower retirement age by two or three years you're going to help with jobs, free up extra cash for younger people who are taking care of their parents. there are all sorts of different opportunities for the administration. but i don't know that they'll take it. >> i don't think they will. but i want to focus. time is up, unfortunately. you said lower the retirement age. you're saying people could retire earlier, create job vacancies that could be taken by the younger under 30. >> we have millions unemployed.
5:26pm
your chances of being hired at this stage of the economy is incredibly low. the burden is now on their kids to support them. we're clogging up the system, and we're bankly creating people who are falling through the net. >> eliot: host of ring of fire sam seder thank you for your time as always. if you think a feature without twinkies is bleak, it's now off and then on again of the country's favorite cream filled treat.
5:27pm
5:28pm
5:29pm
>> eliot: coming up, jeffrey toubbin on the supreme court. but first the country continues to approach the fiscal cliff, and the middle east becomes increasingly unstable and climate change is all but unmentioned. what is everybody talking about? twin keys.
5:30pm
>> this is what everyone is talking about. the headachers of twinkies dingdongs and ohio houghs are going out of business. >> the most fascinating person of 2012 is the twinkie. >> tell them about the twinkie. >> really seriously you're not talking about hostess twinkies. >> what do we have? hostties twinkies. >> the demise of the twinkie. >> they will be no more. >> dingdong the twinkie is gone. >> this is the end of an era. [ laughing ] >> we've lost this segment. >> the only thing about it is
5:31pm
maybe i'll lose weight because i won't eat twinkies any more. i like american food. >> this is a setup. i'm not answering questions about twinkies. >> maybe if they had come to colorado. >> twinkies. >> i think they could have done better if they had gone to colorado or washington. >> i'm sure you heard they're auctioning these off for $200. >> no more twinkies. >> hey how much? >> $50 for twinkie. >> i got a guy in cleveland who will give me $75. >> all right $60. >> they make you feel better. there is only one thing that feels better than eating a twinkie. >> this isn't a joke. >> the ohios ho hos are better than the twinkie.
5:32pm
>> it may not be the end of the twinkie just yet. >> a possible reprieve for the hostess twinkie. we have learned that hostess and it's second largest union has decided to go into mediation. >> eliot: my prediction they'll be back. jeffrey toubbin joins me next.
5:33pm
5:34pm
(vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything. >> eliot: they are arguably the two tight ans of washington politics. president obama and chief justice john roberts the dance between these two has been fascinating to watch as two intellectuals use the tools of their respective offices to change the nation. joining me now to examine the complex relationship between the white house and the high court
5:35pm
is jeffrey toobin whose writings are widely acclaimed. he's the senior writer at cnn and his book" the oath." thank you for joining us. >> hello. >> eliot: good to see you. like our days at cnn together. >> exactly. >> eliot: you say that president obama is actually counter intuitively the conservative constitutionalist. explain what you mean by that. >> since the 19 1980s since edward meese arrived he said we need to expand executive power end racial preferences to assist african-americans, lower the bearsier between church and state, and above all reverse roe versus wade to ban abortion. that's been the conservative agenda at the supreme court. it's an agenda of change. it's john roberts agenda and it has not yet succeeded.
5:36pm
it may never succeed but it is an agenda to change many of the important residents at the supreme court and that's why roberts is the candidate of change. and obama is saying leave things the way they are. >> eliot: you're saying as a matter of constitutional doctrine, row versus wade, on and on, the president said we're happy where things are. >> that's right. and you see the lack of relative discussion on these issues. george w. bush, whatever you think of him paid attention to constitutional issues. he didn't want judges who legislated to the bench. he held high profile ceremony on primary time to nominate his first group of judges. you never hear any that have from barack obama because it's not a priority. >> eliot: where does that leave us? take the gun case and the heller case which was viewed as an
5:37pm
expansesive interpretation of the second amendment. who won-- >> no, barack obama--this is the thing, the democratic party made a decision. chuck schumer has even talked about this, there are certain issues we're giving up on, and gun control is one of them. during the 2008 campaign barack obama was traveling the country saying i think there is a right to bear arms guaranteeed to second amendment. >> eliot: i want to go down this narrow path with much more full fullsome than democrats want. >> some democrats. >> eliot: but this is an example of what you're saying, roberts a change constitutionalist. >> correct, whether it's second amendment in the heller case or citizens united, the signature decision of the roberts court which revolutionized the doctrine of campaign finance and how campaigns are ran in this country. this is an agenda for change.
5:38pm
>> eliot: althougher lou you said citizens united was a signature case. what about the healthcare. it wasn't central to anybody's conversation. explain the chief justice's role there. >> one of the problems with working at cnn, as you remember, they keep the tapes of stuff that you say on tv. >> eliot: we're not going to run it. >> i'm not going to sit here and say i predicted the outcome. quite the opposite, i thought the case would come out the other way. >> eliot: i did predict the right outcome. >> then you're a better man than i. >> eliot: the coin flipped and i got it right. >> i was able to see this after my book came out. john roberts sees himself as the custodian of the courts reputation. he knew if this case was decided lie citizens united, 5-4 with the five republicans against the
5:39pm
four liberals, the court would be discredited. the court would be treated just as another part of the constitution like the house of representatives, and he didn't want to do it. frankly the constitutional argument against the healthcare law was so bad. this was a law proposal that had been around for 20-plus years mostly by republicans. no one had ever suggested that it was unconstitutional. and roberts had the integrity to say, you know, i'm going to preserve the court's reputation. >> eliot: let me drop a footnote. i had written an article in which i said the commerce clause was clear attacks frivolous. they went the other way on that but under the tax income--i got that right. you just wrote a fascinating piece, that bush v. gore was used by the obama administration
5:40pm
to buttress it's arguments to make sure early voting survived in ohio. that may have turned the election. >> a very interesting set of circumstances. bush v. gore was a case that said under the equal protection clause florida could not count it's votes different way. they stopped the recount. what the obama camp said was you can't have one set of rules for military voters and another set of rules for everyone else. under bush v. gore everybody has to be treated the same way. and to the surprise of even some of the obama lawyers, the courts bought that argument. they said this is like counting votes. you have to have one standard for everyone. in a perfect bit of similar industry the early voting got 500 votes to the polls and obama's margin. >> eliot: this was hugely important.
5:41pm
the filibuster. it seems to go far afeel but the use of filibuster, will that change, and will that affect the president's ability to nominate judges or justices of his real choice? >> everyone is talking about the fiscal cliff but in fact, one of the biggest issues that the senate will take up right after the first of the year is the proposal by senator merkley of oregon senator udall of new mexico to reform the filibuster saying if you want to gum up the senate's works, you have to stand up and talk. the way jimmy stewart. >> eliot: with a wobble and almost fall down. >> you can't say i'm going to filibuster and then brings things to a halt. senator reid said he's sympathetic to this idea. it would be enormously important especially on the issue of judicial nominations. >> eliot: if they do not do it,
5:42pm
they will a lost an enormous opportunity to move forward. >> they're worried that some day they'll nobody the minority. >> david: the last question, will the chief justice get the oath correct this time? >> boy you know what, i can't wait to find out. a bit of trivia, it will be january 21st because the 20th falls on a sunday and by tradition the inaugural is never held on a sunday. we'll have to wait an extra day to find out. >> eliot: i knew there was a reason we called you. >> the inauguration trivia. that's me. jeffrey toobin. author of "the oath" out on book shelves. some on the right side of the aisle just can't seem to get past the fact that the election was 13 days ago. my view coming right up. soft, sweet coconut covered in rich, creamy chocolate.
5:43pm
almond joy and mounds. unwrap paradise. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections tuberculosis lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu.
5:44pm
tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores have had hepatitis b have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists.
5:45pm
>> eliot: when it comes to foreign policy republicans know who to blame.
5:46pm
it's always the president's fault. that's ahead. be sure to join jennifer granholm in "the war room" when she'll be joined by the author of "the outpost: the untoll story of american valor." that's on "the war room." the "viewpoint" coming right back. mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> eliot: note to john mccain and other republicans who love to talk about foreign policies. the election is over. the moment for partisanship has passed. recall, we used to say "politics stops at the water's edge, and we believed it. now is the time to focus on answers and solutions if there any, to the vexing issues that
5:47pm
we confront in a complicated and turbulent world. why is this so necessary? because even yesterday john mccain perhaps the most senior republican voice on foreign policies continued to rant against the president. since the election every time i have a foreign policy conversation with a republican still sore about the outcome every disagreement is cast in partisan terms. isn't the bengahzi tragedy a cover up for something? why is the turmoil in gaza erupting so soon after the election? as if the president some how delayed the crisis until after november 6th. it is all kind of nuts maybe a last stage republican grief or denial that hopefully will pass soon. especially since in the entirety of the presidential campaign neither mitt romney nor anybody in the republican party suggested a significantly different approach to any of the hot spots around the world. recall the "me too" foreign policy debate where romney merely parroted every answer
5:48pm
that president obama gave? we all acknowledge that many regions in the world really are a mess with the middle east leading the pack right now. hamas is raining rockets down in israel with predictable and appropriate response, and iran is marching forward with its nuclear enrichment process getting awfully close to whatever red lines have been drawn publicly or privately. simply stating that we need to get the middle east peace process backs on track is too vapid an answer. while i do like the idea of sending bill clinton back to see if the talks can be revived the movement simply may not be propitious, for the broader agreement beyond seeking a cease-fire to the current fireworks there are too many moving pieces of and deep seated hostilities that need to be resolveed.
5:49pm
with appropriate encourages egypt could join turkey with is mod raid islamic nation helping us thread a needle in this tortured region. this is where real diplomacy is needed not theatrics by disappointed republicans. let's go back to that age old maxim politics stops at the water's edge. that's my view.
5:50pm
5:51pm
brought to you by the all new doge dart. dodge, new rules. >> eliot: when jobs began vanishing by the millions in 2008 more and more americans would learn a new government acronym--snap. supplemental nutrition assistance program. some people still call it food stamps. last year snap helped 45 million
5:52pm
people. half of them children. in the 1970s america almost had the hunger problem licked but now the poverty has gone up. one in six americans and one in five children lived in homes that could not afford to buy food. let's bring in joel berg, author of "all-you-can-eat: how hungry is america." welcome. >> thank you. >> eliot: give us a magnitude of the problem. >> 50 million americans including nearly 17 million children live in households that cannot afford enough food. now they're not starving to death like somalia or north korea because we do have a federal assistance safety net but they're choosing between food and medicine, choosing between food and rent, and in the wealthiest history of the nation wealthiest nation in the
5:53pm
history of the world they don't have enough food for their entire sustenance for the year. >> eliot: this is what people find staggering. we appreciate the wealth of this nation. we see the excesses. but we think virtually everybody can get the food they need. we don't appreciate there is a vast percentage of americans who simply cannot put food on the table. >> since you mentioned mr. smith goes to washington in a previous segment, i will say that americans are brought up on the frank capra-esque smith. that the mean banker will come with donations or the government won't let people starve doctor--but that's not true. we sell the nation on the con job that benefits low income people or welfare when corporate welfare some how is free market. then people do suffer. we have the very real suffering of 15 million americans. >> eliot: the issues or the reality that we have made real
5:54pm
progress 20 or 30 years ago is know phenomenon. how is it that we had begun to address the problem succeeded and then gave up on a path that was working? >> richard nixon ran for president in 1968 denying that hunger was a problem. within a year he held the first and to this date only white house conference on hunger. we're trying to get president obama to hold another one. but they accomplished many concrete things including the women, children and infants program. >> eliot: referred to as ci wic. >> it saved 500,000 babies from dying at birth. if there are any right to lifers, if you're a member of congress and you claim to be right to life don't cut that. the media focused on this, and dr. king built a serious grassroots movement. the social net in 60s and 70s with bipartisan support
5:55pm
they created the modern nutrition safety net food stamps wic and almost entirely ended hunger in america. we have gone backwards because we told the country the myth that we can solve the problem with charities. >> you talk about the nutritional programs, so many others is with. >> osha. >> eliot: so many pieces that are now maligned, it's fascinating someone whose image is so different, of course. >> but he was forced to do it by grassroots movement and media attention. >> eliot: that is correct. what is the role being played by the breakfast program school lunches, is it enough and what are the gaps being left? i know this is something that you're very passionate about. >> first of all these programs reduce hunger in america and they help the economy.
5:56pm
they calculated for every dollar spent on on the food stamp snap programs it generates economic growth. i find it highly ironic that the conservatives are complaining that obama is throwing life preservers to the drowning through these. i wish everyone had living wage jobs, but in the meantime, the food stamp program keeps people from starving. it has 1% flawed. u.s. house representatives have 2% of its members who pled guilty to crimes and convicted of crimes. there is twice as much fraud in the house of representatives as there are in the food stamps program. it works. >> eliot: what should we do? >> we should have a serious program of living wage jobs.
5:57pm
the president should keep his promise that he made in 2008 to end childhood hunger and we can do that by creating jobs, and having a safety net-- >> eliot: explained what you mean. i having been in government, i appreciate how difficult it is to get if these programs. >> we used to fingerprint people in new york state for getting food stamp programs. you set us on the road to get rid of that. projects like that are in place all across the country where poor people are treated like criminals when a wealthy person getting a mortgage interest deduction for a second vacation home has no such barriers. >> eliot: and should we expand school food programs into summer as well. >> yes. >> eliot: joel berg executive
5:58pm
5:59pm

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)